Our building is open to current U of G students, faculty, and staff at a reduced capacity. Learn about using the library this fall.
Current building capacity is at   ...

Library Services During COVID-19

Updated Wednesday October 6, 2021 - 2:59 pm

We are excited to welcome the University of Guelph community to campus this fall! All floors of the McLaughlin Library are open at a limited capacity of 50%.

NOTE: The information below is subject to change. Please check regularly for updates.

Guidelines for fall 2021

  • Face masks are required in the library at all times
  • Physical distancing guideline of 2m is in effect on all floors except the third and fourth floors, which are designated for group study (group study space is classified as instructional space as per the ministry guidelines)
  • Food is not permitted. Covered drinks are allowed
  • Access to the library is restricted to vaccinated students, faculty, and staff

Plan your visit before you arrive

  • Complete your Self-Screen Survey: Before arriving on campus, you must complete the mandatory Self-Screen Survey.
  • Review what spaces are available:
    • Seating is available on a first come, first served basis

    • The first, second, fifth, and sixth floors and basement are available for individual study with physical distancing in effect

    • The third and fourth floors are available for group study

    • Study rooms can be booked for individual study only

    • Graduate students can book graduate study rooms for individual use

    • All book stacks are open for browsing

    • Computers on the second floor and lower level are available

  • Review guidelines for participating in remote learning:

  • Load funds to your Papercut account for printing and photocopying:

Prioritizing your safety

  • The library is currently limiting capacity to 50% and once reached, we will require visitors to line up outside
  • Cleaning supplies will be provided for visitors to wipe down tables and chairs before use
  • The library will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized daily

Please see the expandable content below for further details on library services available this fall

Library Space, Computers & Printing

  • Access to the building is restricted to current U of G students, staff and faculty.
  • Food is not permitted. Covered drinks are allowed.
  • Face masks are required in the library and physical distancing guidelines are in effect.

Library hours

Study space

  • Study space (tables, carrels, public computers) is available on a first-come first-serve basis.
  • The first, second, fifth, and sixth floors and basement are available for individual study with physical distancing in effect.
  • The third and fourth floors are are available for group study (group study space is classified as instructional space as per the ministry guidelines).

Bookable study space

Things to keep in mind: 

  • Supplies are provided for you to clean your spaces before and after use.
  • Seating configurations are fixed (please do not move the furniture).
  • Physical distancing guidelines must be followed.
  • Face masks are required at all times in our building.

Access to computers 

  • Public computers are available for use on a first-come first-served basis. 
  • There are three express computers available for printing located on the first floor.
  • You also have the option to access library computers remotely to use programs that you may not have on your personal computer.  

Printing and scanning

  • Printing and scanning are available in the library. We do not accept cash, credit, or debit onsite. You must load money onto your printing account online via Papercut.

IT Help Desk

Ask Us Desk Pickup of Books

Current U of G students, staff and faculty can request physical books from U of G and Omni partner libraries.

How to request library books

  • Place holds on books in Omni.
    • Once you have found the item you'd like to request in Omni, sign in and then click "Request." Select your pickup location. McLaughlin Library is the main library at the U of G main campus.
    • You may request any book you find in Omni, whether it is owned by U of G or another Omni partner library.
    • You will receive an email with further direction once the item has been processed. Please be patient as this email could take up to 3 business days.

How to receive your books

When your items are ready, you will get an email. You can pick up the items at the Ask Us Desk when our building is open

Online Services and Resources

Research help

Workshops and programs

  • We will continue to offer all programs and workshops in an online format. 
  • Visit our Workshops & Events calendar to view what’s upcoming.

Online appointments

  • All appointments and consultations will continue to be offered online.
  • View all appointment types on our appointment booking page.  

Course Reserves

  • Check Ares Course Reserves System to see the electronic and physical reserve items available for your courses.
    • Course reserve materials will be available in online formats whenever possible.
  • Physical reserve items are available to borrow on a first come, first served basis. The physical reserve collection is a self-serve collection located on the first floor of the library adjacent to the Ask Us Desk.
    • Physical reserve items may be borrowed on a four hour loan.
    • Some reserve titles are available on a one day (24 hour) or three day loan.
    • Use the self-check unit adjacent to the reserve collection to check out physical reserve items.
  • If you borrow a course reserve item, please return it to the Reserve Return Shelves rather than the book return bins.


Returning Books & Other Library Items

The book return bins can be found in two locations, immediately outside the the front doors as well as just inside the main entrance.

  • You may return library books from the University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, or interlibrary loan. 
  • The outdoor bin is accessible at any time of day. 
  • You can renew your books online

Email of Scanned Material

Scanning services are available to current U of G students, faculty and staff. 

General collections

In accordance with the University’s copyright guidelines, you may request that a portion of a physical item in our collection be digitized. Most physical items including books, microform, and journals are available to be digitized.

  • Search in Omni. Limit your search using the facets on the left-hand side to “Available in U of G Library” which will return physical items in our collection.
  • Select the item you’d like to be digitized and click “Sign in.” You’ll be prompted to enter your U of G credentials.
  • Under the “Get It” heading, you will see “Request a digitized chapter/article/excerpt” if the item is available for digitization.
  • Fill in the form with as much information as possible.
  • Once the item is processed, you will receive an email with a link to the digitized content. This may take a few business days.
  • The link will expire after five views or 30 days. 

Please note:

  • Scanning is not available for materials in the Course Reserve collection. 

Archival and special collections

  • Search the archival and special collections in Omni
  • Find the “U of G Location” on the left-hand menu and limit your search to “Archival & Special Collections.”
  • Request a reproduction from our collections.


Branch Research Data Centre (BRDC)

The Branch Research Data Centre (BRDC) is open at the library. To accommodate physical distancing, workstations will be reduced. New rules and procedures will ensure the safety of those conducting research in the space. 

There is a three-step process in order to gain access to the BRDC:

1. Researchers require permission to access campus for research

  • This permission must be consistent with the University’s Research Phase-In Framework
  • As a researcher, your chair and/or dean will give you a letter of permission.
  • The process and requirements for this vary by college. 

2. Permission from the BRDC 

  • After college permission is received, you will need the permission of Kris Inwood, academic director of the BRDC at U of G.
  • To receive permission, forward the letter received from the college to kinwood@uoguelph.ca and indicate why your work is a priority, if the letter itself doesn’t already state this.

Priority access will be given to:

  • COVID-19 related research
  • Graduate students
  • Early career researchers
  • Research subject to grants and contracts with time sensitive milestones
  • Research with very limited or intermittent needs in order to be completed

3. Making a reservation to use the BRDC

  • After you have the necessary permission, you can make a reservation to use the BRDC. 
  • You will be able to select a particular time using a new system that is being developed by Statistics Canada.  

Have questions about the BRDC? 

Email Kris Inwood, academic director, Branch Research Data Centre at U of G, kinwood@uoguelph.ca.


Annex (Offsite Storage Facility)

  • The library’s offsite storage facility, the Annex, is fulfilling all requests for library items.
  • The Annex is currently closed to all visitors at this time.


Ask us. We're here to help!